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Grand jury declines to indict white woman who caused Emmett Till lynching

Grand jury declines to indict Carolyn Bryant Donham

A jury in Mississippidespite revelations about pending arrest warrantsnearly 70 years ago black teenager Emmett It is an unpublished memoir by a woman who refused to prosecute a white woman accused of lynching Till,, prosecutors said Tuesday. Last week, after hearing more than seven hours of testimony from officials and witnesses, a Lefleur County grand jury ruled that there was insufficient evidence to indict Carolyn Bryant Donham. . kidnapping and manslaughter.

Donham, now in her eighties, is becoming less and less likely to be prosecuted for her role in the incident that led to Till's lynching.

Emmett Till
In this file combo photo, John W. Milam, 35, is left and his half-brother Roy Bryant, 24, is in the center. Seen right in the murder of Chicago native Emmett Till, Bryant's wife Carolyn, who was indicted.  AP

Till's cousin, Reverend Wheeler Parker Jr., described the decision as "unfortunately. predictable." 

“The prosecutor did his best. The anti-black system that has ensured them over the years cannot be undone.Who killed Emmett Till will go unpunished to this day," Parker said in a statement. The fact remains that those who tortured and murdered did so invisibly, and the American justice system was set up to prevent them from being tried for their heinous crimes. " 

E-mails and voicemails seeking comment from Donham's son, Tom Bryant, were not immediately returned on Tuesday.

Lefleur in June. The group that searched the basement of the county courthouse included Donham, then-husband Roy Bryant, and brother-in-law J.W. In Till's subsequent murder, the man was arrested and acquitted of murder charges, but Donham, then 21 and now 87, was never taken into custody.

Emmett Till's photograph on a plaque marking his grave at Burr Oak Cemetery in Aslip, Illinois, May 4, 2005. It contains.  Scott Olson/Getty Images

In an unpublished memoir obtained by AP last month, Donham said he didn't know what would happen to the 14. Stated. Her 1-year-old Till, who lived in Chicago and was visiting relatives in Mississippi, was kidnapped, killed and thrown into a river. She accused him of making obscene comments and catching her while she worked alone at a family-owned store in Money, Mississippi. brought Till to her in the middle of the night for identification, but she denied it was him and said she tried to help the young man. She claimed that the 14-year-old boy identified himself to the men, despite being abducted at gunpoint from the city. Tyr's battered body is found in the river. The decision by Till's mother, Mamie Till Mobley, to open the coffin for Till's funeral in Chicago showed the horror of what happened and ignited the civil rights movement.

"No family should ever have to endure this pain for this long," Parker told CBS News on Tuesday. “Going forward, we must keep alive the details and memories of the brutal murder of Emmett Till, and the bravery of Mamie Mobley, in order to reduce racial violence and improve our justice system. , we can treat each other equally.The dignity and respect that Mrs. Mobley has given us all.”

The US Justice Department said last year it was closing its investigation into Till's murder.

In 2004 the Ministry of Justice opened an investigation into Till's murder. This was after receiving inquiries about whether a living person could be prosecuted. The agency said the statute of limitations had expired on possible federal crimes, but the FBI worked with state investigators to determine whether state charges were possible. Refused to press charges against anyone, the Justice Department announced it would close the case.

Carolyn Bryant

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